Bedrest can be advised for a number of reasons. Women who have certain complications including placenta problems, premature labor, or problems with the baby’s growth are sometimes prescribed bedrest, although it’s not a foolproof way to eliminate these problems.
If your obstetrician has asked you to be on bedrest, try to remain focused on the ultimate goal: a healthy mom and baby. Although you may wonder what you could have done differently to avoid this outcome, the truth is, it’s not your fault. Many pregnancy complications have no known cause, and aren’t tied to anything you did or didn’t do. Still, you have some challenges ahead of you as you adjust to life with less — or no — activity for a few months. Here are some tips to help you cope:
- Find out exactly what you can do. Some moms only need to cut back on hours at work or not lift heavy objects. Others may need to spend nearly all their hours sitting or lying down. Your physician will give you specific instructions on what to do, and make sure you ask questions if you aren’t sure.
- Set up camp. If you’re restricted to the couch or bed for most of the day, choose a convenient spot not far from the bathroom. Have a cooler with water and healthy snacks next to you, as well as things that will help you pass the time. This includes a computer, books or an e-reader, magazines, the television, and your phone.
- Keep in touch with others. If you’re feeling overwhelmed or depressed, don’t ignore your feelings. If you think you may need medical help, call your physician. You can also look into online support groups for bed rest moms. If someone wants to come visit you, accept their invitation — even if the house is a mess and you’re in your pajamas.
- Get as much help as you can. Reach out to friends and family members for help, especially if you have other children. Ask someone you trust to help with picking them up from school, or to go grocery shopping for you. Although it’s often difficult to accept help, give yourself permission to do so for the next few months for the sake of your baby’s well-being.
- Be straightforward about work. If you know you can’t work at all for the next three months, be honest with your employer up front. Find out what your options are regarding leave, disability, or even telecommuting. Make sure you have a written order from your physician that can be given to your employer for documentation.
Most moms don’t look forward to bed rest, but you can get through it with some support and coping strategies. Tell yourself that it’s only temporary, and don’t be afraid to ask for help when needed.
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CarePoint Health is dedicated to providing you with the individual care and attention you need so you can relax and focus on what is most important — the birth of your new baby. To learn more about caring for yourself and your baby during pregnancy, view our list of upcoming classes.
Content on our website is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. If you are experiencing a medical emergency, please call 911. Always consult your physician before making any changes to your medical treatment.